With the holiday season right around the corner, families need to starting planning for their vacations, from travel and accommodations to exciting things to do. For many millennial parents with young kids, this may be the first time traveling as a group. Maybe the pandemic delayed previous plans, or maybe you are just now getting the courage to take your kids on a plane.
Traveling over the holidays can be extremely stressful if you do not plan appropriately. But it can also be stressful on your bank account. Luckily, we at Hub-365 have put together the essential holiday travel checklist – specifically for you families with little ones.
Follow these tips, check out these items, and your stress level will inevitably decrease.
1. Consider a private haven to book your accommodations
Everybody loves the confidence that comes with booking a hotel room. You know your room will be ready when you arrive, it features all the standard amenities, and they are always ready for family holiday travelers. Conversely, you may want to avoid the Airbnb-style lodging. The houses are not always what the photos show and the pricing can be outrageous.
But if you are traveling with a family, you may want to consider something in between. True vacation home rentals and boutique apartment-style stays are accessible, trustworthy, and not as expensive as you think. These villas and havens offer major discounts at many of the most popular travel destinations in the United States. And when you’re here, you won’t have to worry about waking up the next room, long elevator wait times, or those disapproving, judgmental stares that parents always get.
2. Pack a first aid kit (better safe than sorry!)
If you are traveling with kids, you likely overpack for them. Extra clothes. Extra toiletries. If they are even younger, extra diapers and wipes. The one thing that often gets left out is first aid. When you are in a foreign location like the airport or a theme park (see point three below) or even a restaurant, crazy things can happen to you or your family.
We recommend a simple, yet comprehensive first aid kit that will fit into a large purse or diaper bag. The most common little injuries are often the ones that go ignored by the strangers around you. Meanwhile, you are left to tend to a bleeding child who is screaming at the sight of a little blood. Wrap it up and clean it out in a matter of moments so you can get back to enjoying your evening out.
Bonus tip: Replace some of the bandages with kid-themed ones
3. Book your theme park tickets now before they fill up
If you are a child of the 80s or 90s, you remember the days of walking up to the front gate at Disneyworld and your parents getting everybody in with the flick of the wrist. Today, the flick of the wrist is replaced with the swipe of a phone months in advance.
Now, you must purchase tickets far in advance. Maybe you don’t even know where to go yet. But that is OK because all of your discounts on attractions and parks are now in one place. This list of discounts from Abenity offers everything you need and every location you need.
Whether you plan to check out Legoland, a Disney park, or a wax museum like Madame Tussauds, this site has discounts for them all. With little kids, these costs can quickly add up. Luckily, you can save big at some of these parks – much bigger than what you find at the gate if they are not already sold out.
4. Don't break the bank on traveling tablets
Typical tablets cost upwards of $300 and only need one drop from a toddler to be completely useless. That’s why we recommend a smaller, properly sized, and properly-priced tablet to satisfy your little ones.
Save money, save your kids’ retinas, and save the stress of the inevitable fall with a durable, travel-friendly tablet. If there is one thing that will eliminate those micro-stressors during your vacation, it’s this.
5. Ditch the Uber and rent a car
Business travel and couples travel is easy because now you can rideshare literally anywhere. But once that traveling party increases to three or four, plans have to change. A car rental may seem like a waste of money if you are only going to drive a few times during your trip, but consider the pros and cons:
Pros: Easily drive anywhere you need and no time spent waiting
Cons: Expensive and may need to pay for parking anywhere you need and no time spent waiting
What if we could eliminate one of those cons? Would the pros be worth it? If you have a family with young children, this is a no-brainer. We have scoured the internet and found plenty of rental car deals. We especially like this one from Avis that is up to 35% off. Of course, these could change (for better or worse) depending on the location and inventory. It shouldn’t matter though – you can get a great rate on a car that fits your whole family and all of your stuff. Imagine trying to fit eight bags and screaming kids into a Lyft leaving the airport!